Monthly Archives: November 2014

Final Book

This is my final version of my book “I Don’t” that I shall be sending off to Stroma (http://www.stromaltd.co.uk/index.htm) for print.

Screen Shot 2014-12-06 at 15.51.54I had never outputted work with crops and bleeds before so it was useful teaching myself that for future reference! Steve was very friendly and helpful and I’d recommend using Stroma to anyone after a high quality printers for their own work. My images were all at 300 dpi to ensure the highest resolution and quality when printed and they were all originally scanned in above 4MB to aid this, I have converted them all into CMYK to also ensure the best finished/printed product possible.

 

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Book Alterations

Inspiration: http://www.pacemacgill.com/selected_works/artist_page.php?artist=Jim%20Goldberg

My book has come a long way from my original draft, I’ve changed the layouts of images, added, removed and manipulated images,  made the text more legible (!) drawn inspiration from other photo books and changed the size of the actual book to make it bigger. These are the latest steps I made towards my final version…

 

 

 

 

Changed images from RGB > CMYK for print

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Though lots are minor tweaks and changes I felt it necessary in order to really perfect my layouts and vision for the book, I wanted everything central or completely opposite from central! It needed to stand strong with purpose and not look like a mistake which would have been an easy accidental final product with my manipulation and unconventional arrangement. I needed the book to be fractured like the marriages yet strong and aligned like many of their lives now since their divorce.

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Photobook Inspiration

In his fantastic 2009 TED Talk, Steven Johnson explores how the English coffeehouse of the Enlightenment was crucial to the development and spread of one of the great intellectual flowerings of the last 500 years. This tendency for physical places to transcend their mere utilitarian function and serve as hubs of (sub)cultural development is evident throughout history, from the cave fire pit that sparked the dawn of communal storytelling to today’s coworking spaces that offer fertile ground for collaborative betterment.

In South African Township Barbershops & Salons, photographer Simon Weller explores the peculiar cultural and social hubs of South African townships, salons and barbershop, which too transcend their mere function as places to get your hair cut and serve as pivotal places for the local community to gather, gossip and exchange ideas. Weller contextualizes the rich and vibrant photographs of the shops and portraits of their patrons with fascinating essays that expound on the aesthetics of these hubs and their signage though interviews with the owners, customers and sign designers.

This book and these images have inspired me to be more creative and “graphic-design” like with my layouts, using alternative fonts/type faces/photos etc with the characters in the images interacting with each other and the words.

http://www.simonweller.com/index.php

When Hurricane Katrina swept across New Orleans, killing 1,836 people, damaging and destroying over 76,000 houses, and leaving many homeless, photographer Jennifer Shaw (http://jennifershaw.net) found solace in capturing the turmoil with a plastic Holga camera. Hers is a story both incredible and true — from the dramatic birth of her first child on the very day of Katrina’s first strike, to her struggle with depression and her husband’s rage episodes, to their eventual return to New Orleans in time for their son’s first Mardi Gras. Hurricane Story is part memoir, part fairy tale, part poetic story of exile and homecoming, told through 46 beautiful, dream-like images and simple but powerful prose. The Holga’s rudimentary functionality, with its limited control over exposure, focus and lighting, further intensifies the story’s haunting, cinematic feel, drawing you into a seemingly surreal world that sprang from an extraordinary and brave reality. The use of first person and dream like images has encouraged me to make my images even more entwined and interactive with the first person text I am using- whilst I have not written over images (I tried it without success!) this book has made me think of new ways to link words and photos so that they tie together rather than being two separate elements, their integration with each other is crucial to the successfulness of my book. 

“Like a mournful fairytale, Jennifer Shaw’s beautifully staged tableaux are alternately sweet and menacing, filled with emotion but never spilling over into sentimentality. The poetic marriage of words and photos makes Hurricane Story a children’s book for grown-ups.” —Josh Neufeld, creator of A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge

Jeroen Toirkens book Nomad is a fascinating and strikingly beautiful visual anthropology of the Northern Hemisphere’s last living nomadic peoples, from Greenland to Turkey. A decade in the making, this multi-continent journey unfolds in 150 black-and-white and full-color photos that reveal what feels like an alternate reality of a life often harsh, sometimes poetic, devoid of many of our modern luxuries and basic givens, from shiny digital gadgets to a permanent roof over one’s head. His use of black and white images mixed with colour has emboldened my decision to have a few colour photographs within the mainly black and white book- it makes them that bit more compelling and entrancing when one suddenly appears. Nomad is a stunning exercise in perspective-shifting, it invites you to see the world — our world, and yet a world that feels eerily other — with new eyes, embracing it with equal parts fascination and profound human empathy. I hope that with my own photography I shall be as visually eloquent at capturing the human condition as Toirkens. The case of his book is also extremely enchanting as the linen fur instantly puts your mind in tune with the nomads and their lifestyle- it is an interactive book physically and mentally, something I hope the truth of my collected quotes will do to viewers of my book.

http://jeroentoirkens.com/pages/NomadsLife

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Another book layout…

Looking at the previous versions it is clear that the new images add something else to the book and the inclusion of new quotes certainly drives the work and brings to it deeper impressions of married lives. However, my treatment of the images themselves needs to be more carefully considered and worked on. It isn’t currently working to layout the photos as they are – I feel that I need to ‘intervene’ more with them. That is, have I considered fragmenting the imagery? Cropping elements from them – a hand, a look, the smile, etc and then placing these ‘new’ images on the pages so that we view small elements that become animated by the texts and also mitigate against the potential stereotypical wedding photography. I need to consider this so that the work becomes more authored by myself with more critical awareness of the uses of photography. It is still a work in progress and it needs more interruption from myself to elicit a more authored piece of work by refining the view into these lives by imparting a more critical awareness of the potential for the text and images to work together.

1) 

Firstly I noticed that all of my alignments were off and that everything was further to the right than it should be so I have changed that now and everything is neat and central. Pgs 4-5 with the mass of quotes was too daunting at that size and all the same font so I have reduced the text to 10.5 leading 12.5 and changed the fonts for different paragraphs (Georgia, Devanagari Sangam MN, Palatino and Corbel) so that it is easier to read and looks less “busy” and intimating on the page! I then moved the picture on pg12-13 immediately after these quotes to open up the work followed by the quote on p14-15. Pg 22-23 text was not really working so I broke up the bullet points and included them as quotes with the rest of the work at the start of the book. As the text was smaller, p35 didn’t work how it was so I made the photo cross the gutter and become a double page spread next to the text which worked a lot better.

2) 

I didn’t like p34-35 with the double page spread being so enlarged and wanted to get the full doorway in so opened the image up in Photoshop and created a larger frame with extra black spaces continuing from the shadow of the door so that I could get the correct perspective when using the image in indesign. The text was still too large so I put it at 9.5/11.5 leading, this has meant that it does not align right to the edges of the grid so for now I have repeated some quotes on p5-6 whilst I am waiting for the last few to come in.

3) 

p34-35 didn’t have the same boarder as the other pages with images on so I had to re-do the grid preferences on those pages to create the white boarder around text and image so that it flowed as the rest of the book does.

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Field Trip: 3

Everything we see is temporary…

Everything we do as humans is built onto our landscapes. Be it our heritage, the motor car bringing individualised freedom, roads built to accommodate said freedom or simply loading bays for shipping cargo, all the things we create will undoubtably leave their marks behind for generations and generations to come.

We are dependant on the car and this has built our modern day environment through such an economy reliant on four wheels. Even since the Roman time their creation and use of the road is still used in our day to day life as we drive over A roads across the country, just as the roads we have built in more recent years shall scar the landscape for thousands of years to come. We have long used heavy concrete structures to physically alter the land around us to benefit our daily needs, with little consideration for the consequences on the topography of the land and future disintegration (or lack of) for our future generations (with an industrial landscape and global culture that relies on primarily boats for intercontinental exportation and importation). Be it physical boarders such as roads, fences etc or enhancement on natural boarders such as rivers, there has long been division between cultures and countries through the use of exploiting the environment to mark boundaries relevant for that moment in time- how long it stays there is another matter. Excluding gradual defacement from the elements, little if any damage is done to the modern day industrial structures we are scattering across the land for our own current demands- bridges, the national grid, pylons, power stations etc all shall forever be parts of our visual landscape from this day forward.

We were once a great nation, with our own infrastructure and leading technologies, however, the landscape of economics, market force and commodity moves on, as does everything else in the landscape. Everything in our environment is cause and effect, everything is man altered despite the myth of the “untouched english countryside” (even lush rolling hills are used in the farming industry and maintained with that in mind) and everything is evidence of the past, present and the future. Through the landscape you can see Britain’s social fabrics with it’s lack of vision and ambition- building things too small or with only the weeks ahead in mind rather than years. Such things are visual metaphors for our post industrial failure, mismanagement and collapse of the empire- none of these are negatives, simply facts that can be witnessed across the country on the scars that we have left behind us as passing visitors on planet Earth, led by the arrow of time, marching on till eternity.

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New book layout

Feedback from first draft:The draft book does well to really communicate in quotes peoples’ personal difficult/negative experiences of marriage. These quotes are the strongest element of the draft series due to their impact and insights into other lives. Although you have considered how to sequence and place images and text, as it is, the book does not work in its present incarnation. There needs to be a renewed sense of purpose and a decision on how to use the images with text and vice versa. It maybe, that you will consider a book of two halves/sides that reflects the nature of a relationship between two people. One half displaying quotes and the other half with images. This might provide a stronger and more critical context for your exploration and engagement with this subject. Following, the design and layout, particularly the text (see front cover) needs much more enhancement and attention. Try to use a larger book size for the final series and reconsider the type fonts and design ideas. The cover page only needs to display ‘I do’ to signify this subject perhaps? This may communicate more succinctly and allows space (literal and other) for the viewer. Although this is a draft version, the production values can be improved and with more attention to detail. Overall fascinating insights to be further developed and enhanced as above. Consider more interplay between the images too.

I have taken on board the initial constructive criticism of my first draft and have adjusted my book accordingly. I have changed the name of the book and added a front cover photo, split my text between the front and end of book with only a few quotes in the middle, I’ve used a smaller text (size 12) and kept all the words at that size unlike before, I have used font type “Palatino” and used the grid system much more effectively on indesign so that my text is clearer and tighter, looking more professional and is easier to read, I used an online tutorial to help me with this. http://typophile.com/node/47265 

Screen Shot 2014-11-24 at 14.07.57

I have also had more quotes and photos come in which I’ve now included and they add an extra level of depth that I didn’t have before. This layout is far more sophisticated and more engaging than the last, however I have already noticed elements that I want to change again for my next draft to further enhance the impact of the words juxtaposed with the images.

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Beautiful Days at Escot Park

https://www.flickr.com/photos/61221369@N08/sets/

http://www.beautifuldays.org

Beautiful Days is the Levellers’ family music festival which takes place at Escot Park in Devon with six stages, site art, a huge children’s area, comedy, theatre, family camping, licensed real ale bars from Otter Brewery & a great choice of food and craft stalls. Beautiful Days has no sponsorship, branding and does not advertise.

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Over the years the landscape has been altered to accommodate the ever growing music festival such as land once used for crops now used for car parking and extra footpath bridges built, hard track across fields etc There are always small reminisces of festival goers left behind. The above view from Hembury Fort is interesting as I usually take photos from Escot looking at the old Fort so it was interesting to see it visa-versa!

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